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Gewählte Publikation:

Publikationstyp: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Dokumenttyp: Originalarbeit

Jahr: 2015

AutorInnen: Huber, L; Heise, N; Zeman, C; Palmers, C

Titel: The ALDB box: automatic testing of cognitive performance in groups of aviary-housed pigeons.

Quelle: Behav Res Methods. 2015; 47(1):162-171

Autor/innen der Vetmeduni Vienna:

Huber Ludwig

Beteiligte Vetmed-Organisationseinheiten
Messerli Forschungsinstitut, Abteilung für Vergleichende Kognitionsforschung

Zugehörige(s) Projekt(e): Der Einfluß von Erfahrung auf das physikalische Verständnis

The combination of highly controlled experimental testing and the voluntary participation of unrestrained animals has many advantages over traditional, laboratory-based learning environments in terms of animal welfare, learning speed, and resource economy. Such automatic learning environments have recently been developed for primates (Fagot & Bonté, 2010; Fagot & Paleressompoulle, 2009;) but, so far, has not been achieved with highly mobile creatures such as birds. Here, we present a novel testing environment for pigeons. Living together in small groups in outside aviaries, they can freely choose to participate in learning experiments by entering and leaving the automatic learning box at any time. At the single-access entry, they are individualized using radio frequency identification technology and then trained or tested in a stress-free and self-terminating manner. The voluntary nature of their participation according to their individual biorhythm guarantees high motivation levels and good learning and test performance. Around-the-clock access allows for massed-trials training, which in baboons has been proven to have facilitative effects on discrimination learning. The performance of 2 pigeons confirmed the advantages of the automatic learning device for birds box. The latter is the result of a development process of several years that required us to deal with and overcome a number of technical challenges: (1) mechanically controlled access to the box, (2) identification of the birds, (3) the release of a bird and, at the same time, prevention of others from entering the box, and (4) reliable functioning of the device despite long operation times and exposure to high dust loads and low temperatures.

Keywords Pubmed: Animal Welfare
Behavior, Animal
Behavioral Research*/methods
Behavioral Research*/trends
Research Design/trends*
Task Performance and Analysis*

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